Security Awareness for Public Bus Transportation: Case Studies of Attacks Against the Israeli Public Bus System

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Security Awareness for Public Bus Transportation: Case Studies of Attacks Against the Israeli Public Bus System


This report presents 16 case studies of attacks planned or carried out against Israeli bus targets, along with statistical data on the number, frequency, and lethality of attacks against bus targets that have taken place in Israel since 1970 and during the Second Intifada, which occurred between September 2000 and the end of 2006. The statistical data come from MTI’s Database on Terrorist and Serious Criminal Attacks Against Public Surface Transportation. The report also includes an analysis of the effectiveness of different improvised explosive devices and methods of delivering them and raises questions for future discussion.

The case studies of bus attacks were selected not because they are statistically representative, but because they provide a variety of interesting observations. They include both lethal and nonlethal attacks, attacks in which security measures were effective or were not followed or were ineffective, and attacks in which the attackers’ tactics and/or devices were lethal or failed or reduced the lethality of the attack.

It is hoped that the cases presented in this report and the accompanying analysis will increase understanding of what can happen and of what can deter, prevent, and/or mitigate the occurrence of terrorist attacks against public bus systems.



Bruce Butterworth has had a distinguished government career, working at congressional, senior policy, and operational levels. Between 1975 and 1980, as a professional staff member for the House Government Operations Committee, he ran investigations and hearings on many transportation-safety issues, particularly in aviation. He spent 11 years in the Department of Transportation, eight of them in the Office of the Secretary. He managed negotiations on air and maritime services in the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) (now the World Trade Organization [WTO]), chaired U.S. delegations to United Nations Committees, dealt with transport and aviation issues related to border inspections, and was part of the response to the bombing of Pan Am 103.

Mr. Butterworth held two executive posts in aviation security and in both worked closely with Congress as the informal but primary liaison. He was Director of Policy and Planning (l991–1995), establishing strategic, long-term, and contingency plans and federal rules. As Director of Operations (l995–2000), he was responsible for federal air marshals, hijacking response, and 900 field agents; he worked hard to improve security and the performance of security measures at U.S. airports and by U.S. airlines worldwide. He ran the FAA’s aviation command center, successfully managing the resolution of hijackings and security emergencies. He launched a successful program of dangerous-goods regulation and cargo security after the 1995 ValuJet crash, oversaw the conversion of the air marshal program to a full-time program with high standards, was a key player in the response to the ValuJet and TWA 800 accidents, and was a frequent media spokesperson. He worked closely with the Congress, the National Security Council staff, the intelligence community, law enforcement agencies, and authorities of other nations.

He was an Associate Director at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum (2000–January 2003), responsible for security and building operations. He designed and implemented a “best practice” procedure to deal with mail that could contain anthrax, and he developed and conducted new, comprehensive emergency planning procedures and exercises. Between January 2003 and September 2007, he was one of two deputy directors in a 1,300 person engineering directorate at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, managing workforce planning, budgeting, and human capital management for complex robotics space missions, substantially reducing overhead and improving workplace safety there. He also worked with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) on information sharing.

Mr. Butterworth is a research associate with the Mineta Transportation Institute. In this capacity, he has co-authored several reports with Brian Michael Jenkins, including one on security risks created by highway-borne hazardous materials for the State of California. In February 2009 he published with Mr. Jenkins an opinion piece on information sharing, and on March 23, 2010, he published an article on intelligence and aviation security in the Washington Post.

In 2011, his leading role in creating MTI’s unique database of attacks on public surface transportation and in creating and delivering nearly all the briefings to the Transportation Safety Administration’s (TSA’s) front-line bomb appraisal officers was recognized in a DHS High Impact award.

Mr. Butterworth received a Master of Science degree from the London School of Economics in 1974 and a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of the Pacific in 1972 (Magna cum Laude). He was a California State Scholar and a Rotary Foundation Fellow. He has received numerous special achievement and performance awards.


Shalom Dolev is an expert in security operations, methodologies, and security strategy development, with special emphasis on countering terrorism. He has more than 25 years of experience in the field and has worked for several governmental agencies, serving as a security consultant on issues including aviation, seaports, maritime activities, mass-transit transportation, border crossings, and high-risk institutions.

Mr. Dolev has held senior executive posts in the Israeli government, including security officer, team leader, shift duty manager, and security technologies manager for a security division at Ben Gurion International Airport. He also served as the head of the Counter-Sabotage Branch at the Israeli Security Agency (ISA), where he was responsible for intelligence analysis and research on weapons, explosives, IED techniques, and modus operandi of international terror organizations; development of concepts, measures, techniques, and procedures for counter-sabotage; search operations; physical security for the Israeli civil aviation system (airports and airlines) wordwide, the national VIP protection unit, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (for Israeli diplomatic installations overseas), the Israeli maritime system, postal security, and selected high-risk governmental installations; evaluation, testing, and deployment of equipment and technologies for search operations; screening and detection of weapons and explosives; training of the all-Israeli security community on counter-sabotage operations, security inspections, and screening; and leadership of the Israeli intelligence, security, and law enforcement community in counter-sabotage operations and technologies.

As a senior consultant, Mr. Dolev acquired unique expertise in countering terrorist attacks and development of operational deployment models and training methodologies, along with expertise in the deployment of security technologies in complex security operations. He has played a key role in many major national security operations in Israel, including the development of the operational deployment concept and practice of the public bus system guard force, the development of a unique land-border-crossings concept and its practical implementation, and the migration of Israel’s aviation security from a human-based system to a technology-based system. He initiated the development of the first explosives detection devices and has participated in numerous research and development programs on innovative explosive detection technologies and their implementation in major security programs. He has a degree in electronics engineering from Tel Aviv University and is a graduate of Tel Aviv University Law School. He retired recently after 25 years of reserve military service and seven years of full service in the Israeli Defence Forces combat-engineering special forces.


Brian Michael Jenkins received a Bachelor of Arts degree in fine arts and a Masters degree in history, both from UCLA. He also studied at the University of Guanajuato, Mexico, and in the Department of Humanities at the University of San Carlos, Guatemala, where he was a Fulbright Fellow and received a second fellowship from the Organization of American States.

Commissioned in the infantry at the age of 19, Mr. Jenkins became a paratrooper and ultimately a captain in the Green Berets. He is a decorated combat veteran, having served in the Seventh Special Forces Group in the Dominican Republic during the American intervention and later as a member of the Fifth Special Forces Group in Vietnam (1966– 1967). He returned to Vietnam on a special assignment in 1968 to serve as a member of the Long Range Planning Task Group; he remained with the Group until the end of 1969, receiving the Department of the Army’s highest award for his service. Mr. Jenkins returned to Vietnam on an additional special assignment in 1971.

In 1983, Mr. Jenkins served as an advisor to the Long Commission, convened to examine the circumstances and response to the bombing of the U.S. Marine Barracks in Lebanon. In 1984, he assisted the Inman Panel in examining the security of American diplomatic facilities abroad. In 1985–1986, he served as a member of the Committee of the Embassy of the Future, which established new guidelines for the construction of U.S. diplomatic posts. In 1989, Mr. Jenkins served as an advisor to the national commission established to review terrorist threats following the bombing of Pan Am 103. In 1993, he served as a member of the team contracted by the New Jersey–New York Port Authority to review threats and develop new security measures for the World Trade Center following the bombing in February of that year.

In 1996, President Clinton appointed Mr. Jenkins to the White House Commission on Aviation Safety and Security. From 1999 to 2000, he served as an advisor to the National Commission on Terrorism, and since 2000, he has been a member of the U.S. Comptroller General’s Advisory Board. Mr. Jenkins is also the Director of the National Transportation Security Center at the Mineta Transportation Institute and since 1997 has directed the Institute’s continuing research on protecting surface transportation against terrorist attacks.

Mr. Jenkins is a Special Advisor to the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) and a member of the advisory board of the ICC’s investigative arm, the Commercial Crime Services. Over the years, he has served as a consultant to or carried out assignments for a number of government agencies, including the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). As part of its international project to create a global strategy to combat terrorism, the Club of Madrid in 2004 appointed Mr. Jenkins to lead an international working group on the role of intelligence.

Mr. Jenkins is the author of International Terrorism: A New Mode of Conflict; the editor and co-author of Terrorism and Personal Protection; the co-editor and co-author of Aviation Terrorism and Security; and a co-author of The Fall of South Vietnam. His latest books are Unconquerable Nation: Knowing Our Enemy, Strengthening Ourselves and Will Terrorists Go Nuclear? He is also the author of numerous articles, book chapters, and published research reports on conflict and crime.

March 2012
Public bus
Suicide attack



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